A talk with Karen Cortell Reisman: Communication tips for speaking and social media

Marlene Jones is an author, editor, and screenwriter.  She is an award-winning photographer and writes for the Chicago Examiner Online.

Karen Cortell Reisman is an author, motivational speaker, and cousin to Albert Einstein. She is a communications expert and executive public speaking coach who has coached thousands of people. In her one-woman show, Letters from Albert Einstein, she brings wisdom and insight from personal letters from her cousin, Albert Einstein, to audiences around the country. This is Part Two of my interview with Karen. Be sure to read Part One to hear the story behind personal letters from her cousin, Albert Einstein.

Karen, you are an executive public speaking coach and have coached thousands of people, I understand. What are some tips on public speaking that you can share with our readers?

I have. I have critiqued over 7,000 presentations at this point in my career. Here’s a sentence that I like to share with my clients and audiences. A compelling presentation is not just about the facts… A compelling message has to include great content, strategized organization, and a comfortable delivery. It has to have a story. There you go back to my Einstein keynote. It’s a story that I weave in that’s memorable, and I make it applicable…to the listener. So, Marlene, you just can’t tell a story for a story’s sake. It’s got to relate. And you have to figure out how to make the stories relate to what you’re trying to accomplish.

You are a communications expert and write articles about such things as ‘Communication Pet Peeves.’ Many people want to use facebook, twitter, and other social media sites to promote their business, but are not always sure what approach to take. What are some ways we can improve our communication on social media sites?

When it comes to social media sites, be clever…be brief…Maybe the third one is to be branded. So be clever. I don’t want to hear anything to do with the fact that you’ve just eaten a peach. Or you stubbed your toe…How can you say it without blatant self-advertisement? I somehow incorporate what I do in my status update. So. To give you an example, I spoke in Washington, DC recently. A bad status update would be to say, ‘Gosh it was great to speak in Washington, DC recently. Had a wonderful time.’ That’s a little boring…What I did say was, ‘When I was in Washington, D.C. giving a speech, I got the chance to go on all the monuments…and it never ceases to amaze me the freedoms we have in America.’ You see the difference? That’s authentic.  So much more interesting…

Some people want to use social media to forge stronger business relationships. What are some tips you can give to help people build trust on social media sites?

Be clever, be brief, be branded…the fourth one would be authentic…(and) be consistent. I don’t want a status update every five minutes, but probably a couple of times a week. And even though I think it is going into la la land, it really isn’t. I run into people… and they’ll say, ‘Oh, I enjoyed hearing about your business trip to China.’ And it floors me when I realize people are really reading this information…make it fun, clever, neat.

This is Part Two of my interview with Karen. Be sure to read Part One to hear the story behind personal letters from her cousin, Albert Einstein.

Contact me at marleneExaminer@me.com if you would like to share your story about how social media has affected your life or your success.

A Talk with Karen Cortell Reisman: The story behind personal letters from Albert Einstein

This is part one of Karen Cortell Reisman’s interview with Marlene Jones of the Chicago Examiner.

Karen Cortell Reisman is an author, motivational speaker, and cousin to Albert Einstein. She is a communications expert and executive public speaking coach who has coached thousands of people. In her one-woman show, Letters from Albert Einstein, she brings wisdom and insight from personal letters from her cousin, Albert Einstein, to audiences around the country.

Karen, when did you first find out about the personal letters from Albert Einstein?

 

 

They have been a part of my knowledge base since I was born. I’ve always had this knowledge. The relationship is between (Einstein and) my father’s mother -all my father’s side of the family, Marlene. Einstein and my grandmother were friends their entire life. In fact, in Europe, they somewhat grew up together. They weren’t in the same place, but they had a lifelong friendship and a lifelong correspondence. So, when I grew up, my parents already had some of the letters from Einstein and they were just a part of (my life). I mean my mother had some of them framed and in a corner. She had them framed in K-Mart frames, using masking tape or scotch tape on the back to keep them in the frame. And of course today, an archivist would die to see that.

What surprised you most about those letters?

I would say the genuine closeness and admiration that Einstein had for my family, particularly my grandmother and thereby… my father. He admired people for their strengths and my grandmother had those strengths. She was a very dynamic, insightful, funny, bright human being and he saw those characteristics in her.

 

Your one-woman show, Letters from Einstein, includes wisdom from Einstein and touches on family stories from the holocaust. How have people responded to your keynote, Letters from Einstein?How has social media affected your ability to get your message out?

I like social media. I’m probably not using it to the extent it can be used – I mean I have some fan pages on facebook, and the one I find the most helpful is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is helpful to me in getting out my message about my business. And by linking in to many, many different people, then I can go and see whom we have in common, so it is easier for me to open up doors, to have conversations with decision makers.

This is Part One in a series of two articles based on my interview with Karen Cortell Reisman. Watch for Part Two to hear what Karen has to say about improving your public speaking and communicating well on social media.

Contact me at marleneExaminer@me.com if you would like to share your story about how social media has affected your life or your success.

Happily, I will tell you that all audiences respond…It doesn’t have to be an audience where people are very familiar with the holocaust… Everybody responds to the story. I’m very clear when I share my keynote that I am honored to have this legacy of being related to Albert Einstein, but it is a passive event in my life. I am in awe of what my mom’s side of the family did in order to survive during extremely difficult times… But all of us, through design or by default, have to survive and overcome obstacles in our lives.

 

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